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  • 12 Dec 2012 9:27 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)
    New Zealand and the United States enjoy a strong economic relationship, and a key component of this is New Zealand corporate and individual investment in the United States.   In 2011, total stock of New Zealand Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the United States was US$5.95 billion.  Top sectors for New Zealand’s U.S. investments include manufacturing as well as the wholesale trade industry.  Keeping that relationship active, relevant and growing requires initiative and up-to-date information.  President Obama recognizes this, and so has created the “SelectUSA” program, which aims to make it easier for New Zealanders to invest in the United States.  

    The “SelectUSA” program highlights the extraordinary investment opportunities in the United States, and it encourages international businesses to locate, invest, and grow in the United States.  In particular, the U.S. has unparalleled educational institutions, labor productivity, and intellectual property protection.  This last point is important for a country like New Zealand – which is a content-generating country.  America looks to protect innovation through appropriate Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement and awareness because it creates jobs and exports, and promotes innovation and safe products.  Because of these and other unique qualities, the United States ranks in the top tier of global business climate surveys, including the Venture Capital and Private Equity Index, the FDI Confidence Index, the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, and the Center for Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Indicator. 

    In cooperation with the SelectUSA office, our Embassy in Wellington and Consulate-General in Auckland are committed to helping you invest in the United States.  Specifically, our offices can: (1) provide detailed information on the U.S. investment climate and profiles of different U.S. industries; (2) connect you to Economic Development Officers on the ground in each U.S. state and county to provide insights on location-specific investment opportunities and incentive programs; (3) offer guidance on U.S. policies and regulations in setting up and operating businesses; and (4) deliver ombudsman services to resolve issues in setting up a business. 

    I encourage you to visit the SelectUSA website (www.selectusa.gov) for more information, and direct your specific inquiries to our Commercial Service office in Wellington (telephone (04) 462-6002 or email office.wellington@trade.gov).  We are looking forward to working with you even more intensively in the year ahead.

    Sincerely,
    David Huebner, U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand

  • 26 Oct 2012 12:50 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    New Zealand will look to negotiate a FATCA tax information agreement with the United States, Revenue Minister Peter Dunne announced today.

    The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) was enacted by the United States in 2010, and requires overseas financial institutions – for instance, New Zealand banks, life insurers or managed funds – to enter into agreements with the US's Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and US Treasury to provide details about the affairs of their United States clients.

    "New Zealand fully supports moves to clamp down on tax evasion through effective exchange of information between jurisdictions, but we want to ensure that the information goes through existing channels," Mr Dunne said in confirming that Cabinet this week agreed to lodge an expression of interest in negotiating a FATCA tax information agreement.

    "Without an intergovernmental agreement, financial institutions would have to enter into separate agreements with the IRS, withhold tax on certain accounts, and risk being in conflict with New Zealand's privacy and human rights laws," he said.

    These separate agreements are optional, but not having one means the US imposes a 30% withholding tax on an institution's American income. Mr Dunne said having an intergovernmental agreement would materially reduce FATCA compliance, as well as providing other advantages.

    He said that the intergovernmental agreement would help address a number of concerns because financial institutions will not have to provide information directly to the American IRS.

    "Rather, they would provide it to Inland Revenue which will submit the data on their behalf to the IRS.

    "This agreement will mean we can help to support FATCA's objectives and play our part in dealing with international tax evasion, while at the same time ensuring that the compliance costs for New Zealand institutions are manageable," he said.

    A joint working group comprising private sector representatives and officials is being formed to work through FATCA issues. Organisations that may be affected by FATCA can participate in the working group, by emailing Policy.Webmaster@ird.govt.nz

  • 03 Oct 2012 7:56 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)
    Progress being made in NZ-US relationship one step at a time, says America's visiting Defence Secretary

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  • 03 Oct 2012 7:53 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)
    United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta visited New Zealand in late September. He was the first US Defense Secretary to visit in over 30 years.

    The trip follows the signing of the Washington Declaration in June between Secretary Panetta and Minister of Defence Jonathan Coleman. The declaration provides a framework for cooperation to focus, strengthen and expand the bilateral defence relationship.

    While in New Zealand, Secretary Panetta laid a wreath at the Auckland World War II Hall of Memories to remember the sacrifices of the New Zealand Defence Force in that war and, most recently, in Afghanistan.
  • 17 Aug 2012 4:39 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    During Weeklong Trade Mission, Finance Chairman Will Meet with Prime Ministers, Trade and Economic Leaders, Discuss Trans-Pacific Partnership

    Washington, DC – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) will depart for New Zealand and Japan tomorrow to meet with senior economic and trade leaders and discuss key issues surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement (FTA), which will create American jobs and benefits U.S. businesses, workers, farmers and ranchers. Senator Baucus’s meetings will take place in Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand and Tokyo and Kyoto in Japan.

    “The Asia Pacific region will drive the next wave of economic growth, so we have to strengthen our trade ties with countries like Japan and New Zealand to stay competitive. Every bit of ground we gain boosting our exports means new jobs in the U.S.,” Senator Baucus said. “The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a window of opportunity for our exports to reach new consumers in markets across the Pacific. Through the TPP, we can help ensure our trading partners play by the rules and open their markets to American exports. A high-standard TPP agreement that works for the U.S. will create jobs at home and further strengthen our role as a leader in the global economy.”

    While in New Zealand, Senator Baucus will meet with Prime Minister John Key and Trade Minister Tim Groser, among other political leaders, to discuss the progress of TPP negotiations and pursue trade opportunities for American businesses that would create additional U.S. jobs. Senator Baucus will also tour the Mokai geothermal power plant. The Mokai facility is New Zealand's largest privately developed geothermal project. The U.S. is New Zealand’s third-largest trading partner; U.S. exports to New Zealand totaled $4.4 billion in 2010. Major U.S. exports to New Zealand include aircraft, automobiles, medical devices and petroleum products.

    In Japan, Senator Baucus will meet with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and Economic and Trade Minister Yukido Edano to seek expanded access for U.S. exports. Senator Baucus will also discuss the possibility of Japan joining the TPP negotiations in the future. He will also tour a Tesla Motors facility that will sell electric automobiles made in the U.S. and exported to Japan. Japan is the world’s third largest economy, and U.S. exports to Japan totaled $113 billion in 2011. The main U.S. exports to Japan include chemicals, pharmaceutical goods, films and music, commercial aircraft, nonferrous metals, plastics and medical and scientific supplies.

    In 2009, Senator Baucus pushed the administration to reaffirm the United States’ role as a robust partner in the TPP negotiations, and he has continually called for the agreement to strengthen U.S. job-creating trade ties and include high-level standards for labor issues, environmental standards and intellectual property protection. In 2011, with Japan, Mexico and Canada announcing their interest in joining the TPP negotiations, Senator Baucus said each country must be ready to quickly accept the TPP’s high-standard commitments. Mexico and Canada will likely join the TPP this fall after congressional consultations conclude. If Japan also joins the TPP, the total number of consumers across TPP countries would grow by 50 percent, and the participating countries would represent more than 40 percent of global GDP.

    Senator Baucus last traveled to Japan in 2004 to explore the opportunity for expanded trade with the U.S. More recently, he traveled to Russia in February to pursue export opportunities and discuss the U.S. establishing permanent normal trade relations with Russia (the Finance Committee passed his PNTR bill in July 2012). In early 2011, Baucus led a trade mission to Colombia and Brazil to promote U.S. exports and prepare for the debate over the FTA with Colombia that had not yet been approved at that point. Senator Baucus traveled to China in late 2010 to push China’s leaders on their currency undervaluation and boost American competitiveness.

  • 10 Aug 2012 1:13 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Vista Entertainment Solutions Ltd, a global leader in entertainment software solutions, has won the Supreme Award for trade with the United States at the 13th AmCham DHL Express Success & Innovation Awards, held last night at Auckland’s Pullman Auckland Hotel.

    The Supreme Award is chosen from the winners of each of the categories presented on the night. The complete list of winners follows:

        Importer of the Year from the USA: Seychelle Water Filters Ltd

        Investor of the Year to or from the USA: Mighty River Power Ltd

        Exporter of the Year – under NZ$500,000: Red Witch Analog Ltd

        Exporter of the Year – NZ$500,001 – 5 million:  Vista Entertainment Solutions Ltd

        Exporter of the Year – over NZ$5 million: Yealands Estate Wines

        Trevor Eagle Memorial Award – AmCham Supporter of the Year: Pfizer New Zealand Ltd

        Supreme Award Winner:  Vista Entertainment Solutions Ltd

    Vista Entertainment’s key areas of expertise are the provision of cinema management solutions to the cinema exhibition industry as well as providing solutions for Food and Beverage facilities, and a software development service for entertainment sector customers. Over the last three years their US business has had cumulative growth of 111% with expectations of reaching 468% by 2014.

    AmCham’s Executive Director, Mike Hearn, said a record number of entries were received for the Investor of the Year category.

    “Each year we see and hear about great New Zealand success stories and their relationships with the USA, this year is no exception.  While the US economic situation is still slow, and the dollar has worked against New Zealand exporters, there are still many companies growing their business and presence in the USA,” said Mr Hearn.

    Tim Baxter, Country Manager for DHL Express New Zealand said DHL is proud to continue its support of the 2012 AmCham-DHL Express Success and Innovation Awards.

    “It’s great to acknowledge Kiwi companies who are realizing success in the USA. DHL has experienced strong double digit growth in US exports and imports and we see this as an increasingly important market for NZ businesses. We’re proud of our ability to support companies doing business with the US and last month launched a dedicated US freighter which has reduced transit time by a day between the US and NZ,” said Mr Baxter. 

    The AmCham DHL Express Success and Innovation Awards celebrate success and innovation in the export, import and investment sectors between New Zealand and its third-largest trading partner, the US. Prizes include NZ$2,500 for air travel to the USA on Qantas Airways for winners of the importer and exporter categories.

    In addition to AmCham, DHL-Express and Qantas, the awards are also supported by Baldwins and Fonterra, a two-time winner of the Supreme Award in 2008 and 2009.

    Other previous winners of the Supreme Award include Zespri International, Specialist Marine Interiors, Peace Software, Airways Corporation, HumanWare, Tenon, Orion Systems International, Zeacom and Pratt & Whitney Air New Zealand Services t/a Christchurch Engine Centre, and Buckley Systems.

  • 13 Jul 2012 12:34 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    AUCKLAND, 13 July, 2012– The American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand has today announced the finalists for the 2012 AmCham-DHL Express Success and Innovation Awards.

     

    Mike Hearn, Executive Director for AmCham, says 2012 has seen another strong group of entrants, covering diverse range of products and services from water to wine, nutraceuticals to salmon, software technology to kilns and baggage handling systems.

     

    “Trade with the USA continues to run around $9 billion however over the last year we have seen more New Zealand companies entering the US market, setting up offices and hiring staff,” says Mr Hearn.

     

    “It has also been a very positive year for inbound investment with a record number of nominations for the Investor of the Year to or from the USA award.”

     

    The finalists are:

     

    Importer of the Year

    o    Cavit & Co Limited,

    o    Nature's Sunshine Products (NZ) Ltd

    o    Seychelle Water Filter Ltd

    o    Tidd Ross Todd Ltd

     

    Investor of the Year to or from the USA

    o    Endeavour Capital Ltd

    o    Fiserv, Inc.

    o    General Electric (GE)

    o    Mighty River Power Ltd

    Exporter of the Year to the USA $1 to $500,000

    o    Abel Software Ltd

    o    Red Witch Analog Ltd

     

    Exporter of the Year to the USA $500,001 to $5m

    o    BCS Group Ltd

    o    Kono NZ LP

    o    Mt Cook Alpine Salmon Ltd

    o    Vista Entertainment Solutions Ltd

    o    Windsor Engineering Group Ltd

     

    Exporter of the Year to the USA over $5m

    o    Natural History New Zealand Ltd

    o    Serato Inv LP

    o    TRU-TEST Ltd

    o    Yealands Estate Wines

     

    One of the above will be chosen as the Supreme winner.

     

    The awards will be presented at a black tie gala dinner at the Pullman Hotel Auckland on 9th August. Robert Tapert (Hercules, Xena & Spartacus) will be the keynote speaker with David Slack as the MC.  For details and tickets see www.amcham.co.nz

     

    In addition to AmCham, DHL Express and Qantas Airways, the awards are supported by Baldwins and Fonterra.

     

    Previous winners of the Supreme Award have included Zespri International, Peace Software, Airways Corporation, HumanWare, Tenon, Orion Health, Zeacom, SMI Group, Fonterra and Pratt & Whitney Air New Zealand Services t/a Christchurch Engine Centre, Buckley Systems.

  • 21 Jun 2012 2:32 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman and US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta today signed the Washington Declaration, a new defence cooperation arrangement, at the Pentagon in Washington DC.

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  • 21 Jun 2012 2:31 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    “I have today issued a formal statement on behalf of all TPP parties welcoming Canada to the TPP negotiation. This follows yesterday’s announcement that Mexico will join the negotiations. New Zealand warmly congratulates our Canadian colleagues,” Mr Groser says.

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